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tv   [untitled]    May 19, 2012 9:00pm-9:30pm EDT

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jewish voters to vote. he tries to keep them down. some people get frustrated with him, and he is a very controversial figure. they get mad at him, so they organize a campaign against him. one of the parts of the organization was a campaign by henry levingten, who was running for state representative in 1906 against lamazne and his organization. this is calling a notice of a meeting in a local synagogue on russell street, make you think about the environment in which this is taking place, the jewish synagogue, in a campaign against the czar of ward 8, and his nickname was the czar. most historians think of this as an affectionate nickname are him. it is not. what a jew going to think about the nickname czar. do dictator, not only that, what
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else is going on? they kicked them out. the persecution, the czar was villain number one for juiewesh voters. calling someone a czar wasn't a compliment. he goes on -- you see lots of political cartoons. labeled a czar, without -- they don't notice the fact that was a real dig at him. it was nut a complimentary reference. this is a way they're trying to get jews charged up to vote. against lamazne by calling him a czar. they're oginizing the meeting in a synagogue. look at the bottom of the fly e you have the english account and down here you have hebrew. i'm guessing it says ubthe same as it says up here. and so this is about, again, mobileizing russian or eastern european jews, most of the jews
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in the east end were from russia. mobilizing them in their own native tongue, meeting in a synagogue, voting for a jewish candidate, so you're both jewish and an active citizen at the same time, once again. this is very similar to what you saw with the irish in the 19th sen century. this effort to be a citizen and a member of the ethnic community at the same time, without any apparent contradiction in all of this. so you have this whole group, these are basically the leading figures of the jewish community, including, i want to make quick note of horace esquire, who is a professor of philosophy at harvard. he's going to come up again in a minute. in this little story that we're sketching out here. this is, you know, this is quite common. another thing in this same set of files where i found the flyer, close to it, in fact, was a typewritten ledger from a vote
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from the year before. in which it broke down by presink how many voters, how many jewish voters, what percentage of the jewish voters voted. he was keeping a very, very close eye on the number of jews voting and was working to make sure that he mobileized enough but not too many with this. but it became harder and harder to keep a lid on these things and very gradually over the course of about 30 years, his grip on the district slipped away. it took until about 1930 for it to really come to an end. he was very powerful. only very gradual did they mobilize. it was not a process where they did card their old world ide identity and became american citizens. it's different where they're jewish and american at the same time. you see this is another newspaper that is actually in his district again. good italians become good americans.
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i'll read you an editorial. it says a person of italian nativity in order to become a good american must necessarily be a good italian. again, italian and american is not contradictions. what starts to happen at the beginning of the 20th century, maybe a few years into the 20th century, as we read another, nativism kicks in again. there's this massive wave of immigran immigrants. the growth of darwinian thinking about racial groups. all that feeds nativest concerns. the campaign for restrictions is picking up steam over the first couple decades of the 20th century. it will become much more significant in the period around world war i, the first real immigration restriction, literally test, is pass eed in
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1917. and the campaign to mobilize in world war i was one that insisted on 100% loyalty. one of the popular phrases was 100% americanism. the idea you could have a hyphenated identity was a task. theodore roosevelt gave a speech in which he pro claimed there was no room for hyphenated americans. he went on to qualify that in various ways, but the main idea was you couldn't be irish and american, couldn't be polish and american, italian and american. you could only be 100% american. there's this very intense pressure that is put on immigrants not just after the u.s. enters the war, but even in 1914, 1916, as the idea of the participation in the war grows.
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[ inaudible ] >> yeah. very strict definition. and the same thing happens with immigrants to counter this argument, they organize italian brigades, they organize at home relief organizations. liberty loan drives where they're raising money to support the war. italian leaders organizing an italian liberty loan drive where they can raise one big check that is a demonstration of their commitment as an american, and other groups do that as well. there's this battle, tug of war over can you be italian and american aor are all hyphens goe where can you not have this be part of who you are? a twist on the fear of radicals, it's not anarchists but bol
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shuivists. ratchets up the concern over the possibility that immigrants coming to the united states are bringing dangerous political ideas, that they can overthrow the russian government, they could do it here as well. so you see in the immediate aftermath of world war i, a red scare that intensifies nativism, hostility toward immigrants a little more in this process. and of course, this is something that they lay out for you in the chapter you read, the immigrants fight back. they're fighting back all through the '20s and certainly the fight back, the resistance to these arguments about 100% americanism and no hyphen intensifies as those concepts are asserted. you start to see campaigns buy groups like the ancient order of hiprpians and the german american alliance against immigration restriction. you start to see other, these
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liberty loan drives in ethnic communities that really assert the idea that you can be ethnic and be a good american simultaneously in all of this. the church speaks out against immigration restriction and some of the other nativest expressions of this period. the immigrants are fighting bab. the biggest way they fight back is they start to articulate a pluralist argument. there aren't people writing long essays, analyzing their identities so much. you do see it from place to place, you see expressions like good italians and good americans. you see that from time to time, but there isn't a real effort to spell this all out. articulate it in a sort of formal way. the first person who really begins to do this is horish kaley, the same member of the committee supporting levin's candidacy. he was a polish born jew who
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came to the united states as a child. was able to get into and attend harvard, which is no mean feat for a jew in this era. he received a ph.d. in philosophy and became a professor. in 1915, he wrote an article in the nation that was entitled democracy versus the melting pot. and notice both terms in the title, what did melting pot mean? where have we seen it before? one of the models and ways you can imagine immigrants joining in with american life. does anyone remember where the phrase melting pot comes from in this period? it's in the reading for today. which is why i should have given a quiz perhaps. it's a play, a jewish writer writes a play about the
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experience of jews coming to the united states. it's a run-away success, an enormous hit. and in the play, it tells a story of immigrants coming in and adapting to american life and being accepted into american society, and the idea is that this will create a new kind of american. one that is a blend, a fusing of the native and the immigrant. all these different groups and cultures come in and they create something new. but it's a single group that is fused together. there's a single new american identity. that's the model of the melting pot literally. fusing together, an analogy to the way you make steel, something stronger. and more powerful than any of its constituent metals. kallen doesn't like that. it doesn't make sense. his experience in the west end of boston, in observing american life, his experience is something a little bit different. his is an experience in which you have your ethnic identity
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and your american identity side by side, but there isn't this fusing. you don't become just like the italians down the road or god forbid the yankees in the suburb. you are still a member of a particular group, but you're alsoen american. he develops this idea which he will continue to elaborate on in the next 20 years or so of this idea of the united states as a culturally plural society. you see this is the most famous passage from the article here, and he's comparing american civilization to a multiplicity in a unity. an orchestration of mankind. the metaphor is a symptom in which you have different parts, different instruments playing different melodies, different sounds coming out, and each element of the symphony would be a different cultural group, a different ethnic group, and individually, they have a particular character, but you put them together and without blending them all into one
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thing, you become something bigger and better and developing. does it make sense? so this is -- we talk about all kinds of metaphors with the melting pot and the salad bowl and these kinds of things. this is kallen's metaphor, that the american society, american civilization is a symphony with lots of constituents parts remaining separate yet working together to create something bigger, better, more beautiful than exists in any individual part. it's not melting together into one new identity. nor is it a one-way street model of americanization in which immigrants shed their old world ways and become just like the wasps out the road, the native born families whose ancestors came over on the mayflower, and the other thing that kallen argued is this is a process. this is an ongoing process, evolvinger it's not a fixed thing where you have the simp
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fny on paper and it stays the same forever. it's constantly evolving. as new groups come in, they rewrite the simp fny. there's a dynamic character throughout this that will persist in american life. this make sense to you guys? now, what this means in the short run is not that much. you see in the immediate aftermath of 1915, america enters world war i, the campaign for 100% americanism kicks in, the push against hyphenism kicks in. anger escalates after the war, restriction on the back burner of american life since the 1890s becomes much more sig knlt, much more powerful. in 1921, a more substantial immigration restriction law is passed, and in 1924, that law is revised further to make it stricter and more draconian.
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in 1928, you get the first real representative of ethnic america as a candidate for president, al smith from new york city. he's a member of tameny hall, an irish catholic. he is very much the embodiment of urban america. he speaks with a new york city accent. this matters now because radio is the medium of communication in politics as well as newspapers. when he starts speaking with the new york accident, people listening in south dark dark are like, what is this. he's seen as this alien figure. but for others, he's seen as a representative of urban immigrant cultural plural america. his advisers know what is going on and are like, al, drop the accent. he wears a brown derby which is an urban style. get rid of the hat, make yourself more bland, white bred, midwesternish. he thinks it would be a betrayal
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of his roots and community. it's something for which he's admired and something that makes certain any chance he has of winning the election goes away. he's defeated badly. democrats who usually carry the south failed to carry the old confederacy this time because there's the catholic immigrant representative on the ballot. so in the short run, kallen's vision, a vision of a plural society, doesn't prevail. row have immigration restriction, al smith fails, but in the long run, as many of the voters who get excited about al smith start to register and vote, you see an uptick in immigrant voting and the children of immigrants are voting now in the 1930s, they will flock to the new deal and the democrats, and they'll form the core of really the dominant voting bloc in the united states for the 20th century. when you get to world war ii and
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after, this idea of a plural american society which you can be both ethnic and american at the same time, gained a lot of attraction. it may never fully dominate as the single and only idea of what it is to be an american, but it becomes a powerful, well received argument that gets more traction. in the short run, this idea of pluralism doesn't really do that well, but over time, as we'll see, as we move forward into the middle part of the 20th century, that is going to change and the argument is going to be renewed later on. so this make sense to everyone? this is all i have for today. you have any questions before we go? last chance to step up to the mike. okay, tuesday we'll talk about world war i and thursday and the foll following week, we'll look more closely at immigration
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restriction and really this is a major change in the immigrant history of the united states, after 1924, immigration really comes to an end for several decades. that's a whole new epic in american history in many, thanks for your patience. i'll see you guys next week. thank you. lectures in hustry airs each saturday at 8:00 p.m. and midnight eastern and sundays at 1:00. we feature class room lectures from across the country. to keep up with american history tv during the week or to send us your questions and comments, follow us on twitter.
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we're at history. in this program, anthropologist helen rountree uses her research to describe how natives of the piedmont region used their environment for food, transportation, and shelter. the indian women's brains were like computers because of their knowledge of the plans. it's part of the conference titled "from the earth" at the virginia historical society. >> i may have been invited more than anyone else, but it's because i usually talk about her who shall be nameless today. i don't plan to mention any individuals today. i was asked to talk about people
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and the land, and i'm going to stay to the subject. my students used to complain, i stuck to the subject. drove them nuts. the indian attitude to the land here before all of the invaders came, including my ancestors, the attitude to the land was complex, but there was one element of it that shines slow in some of the early accounts. that is the entire region is useful as is. i want to explain why and how that was possible. we need to start off with a couple of basic premises. which we may know intellectually, but it's going to be harder to grasp. indians were rational people. they did things for reasons. they didn't do things to be exotic. they were rational people who
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observed, who memorized what they observed, and then used it well. and in my studies in the last four decades, i have come to appreciate deeply just how much is involved. i think the women in particular had minds like computers. and the men weren't far behind. i'm not being sexist. i'm being factual. the men had -- i'm supposed to talk about land, remember? the men had to know their territory, too, but not the same species, not as many, and they had to learn animal behavior and what they brought into the family, food, budget, was based upon that. it wasn't a matter of memorizing plants like a modern botanist, so if the men were behind, it was only in a relative sense, and it's not meant to be sexist.
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division of labor, remember. all right, these were people living in a world where there were no draft animals. these aren't much use for that. neither are deer or elek. you contain them, bultd you can't domest kate them. if you don't have that, you're nate going to have wheeled vehicles. and for regional regions, they had no iron tools, much less steel. no wheel transport, instead, if you wanted to haul a lot of people for a lot of distance, you had to use canoes. and the canoes were dugouts, not birch bark, it's farther north where you get birch, these were heavy canoes and it meant a lot of hard work. i have expounded on that before. when you don't have iron or
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steel tools, it means you have got to make your tools that can do less drastic alterations to the earth. wood, shells, bone, et cetera. so you have a technology that even when the people applied themselves was not going to do anything like as spectacular or trastic as the europeans were able to do right from 1607, let alone now. where they wanted to get trade and especially distance trade, it was often done on foot through a network of trails. i was not able to reconstruct all that many in eastern virginia. sorry, i told a lot of our older country roads run along those trails, but in the general region, it's easier to see, but since we're talking about lodger distance, much of it on foot, we're also talking about relatively lightweight luxury goods. so when people wanted ordinary everyday technology, they had to get to work and make their own.
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locally. their own immediate environment had to supply them. you don't send off to china for something. the cultivated crops they had were also limited in their usefulness. if you have a good year, it's wonderful. however, if you have got a dry year, worse yet, a drought, the nonnative crops, especially corn, are going to produce poorly or not at all. and we have been able to reconstruct and that's my own calibration, by the way, of which years were good years and which years were bad years. there were quite a few good years and also some perfectly rotten ones. if the corn crops fail and your beans aren't good, you're going to have to make up the difference. this had to be done by using wild resources. that meant in turn, here come the ladies. you have to know where exactly
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they are, what plants are useful for what and what season and on and on. that's where a computer like memory really helps. both sexes, men obviously, but the wim in the territories. in these territories which the people were learning thoroughly, this gives you an idea of the language groups and major tribal entities there were when the english arrived. you can see which ones are coastal plain. you have the boundy with the hills and then the piedmont and the mountains. all of these people had to know their territories. really, really thoroughly. and except for the boundary between the piedmont and the coastal plain between the pal atans and the monahoeics, most of these people were in a reasonably peaceful plain. north and south of it seemed to have been friendly most of the
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time. even that wasn't going to make for specialization, i grow this crop, you grow this crop. it wasn't going to make for a lot of everyday trade, and even -- oops. want to go back, too. come on. back, here we are. even then, limited numbers of things that people would even be interested in. the chiefs wound up wearing most of it. all right. this whole region that we're talking about, although most of my landscape slides are going to be in eastern virginia, that's where i mostly worked and almost all of the landscape is going to be my own photography, the people living there were aware tat the nature of streams changed. you generally got relatively narrow, fastmoving ones in the piedmont in the mountain region which means if you want to construct a fish trap, i tried in vain to tell this to the hampton history museum, if you're going to set a trap up on
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a river like that, it needs to be relatively narrow. at least keep in the bigger fix, and at the apex, you keep in a reed container. they're about eight feet. museum directors love them. they're not, repeat not relevant to the coastal plain. much less to hampton. can you think about a trap like road? on the coastal plain, especially the outer coasten plain, you have these wide, wide eschewaries. which are useful for other things, but among other things, the kind of fish traps you find are going to be different. john white got it partially right. devry got it corrected. they should be at the end of the branch, not branched off it. when they reinvented it, this is what they came up with.
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there were more like three sets. very efficient way, those, thee traps to catch fish. for months on end, it's a positive way to get plenty of fish for summer. but they were a lot of work because you have limited technology to build them. in the old days, you would have had some stakes and reed bundles and any storm, it doesn't take a hurricane, could take it out. so the men were constantly doing repair work. for this, you don't need a memory like a computer. in the waterways, especially in the eastern part of virginia, maryland, and north carolina, you have varying solidities which will make for varying shellfish, oysters or saltwater. hard clams, ditto, but there are freshwater clams that are useful which produces occasionally pearls. they're not real common in virginia, if you want to get
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lots of pearls from that kind of clam, you need to go up a little northward nowadays. but you can see as you go farther away from the mouth of the bay and into higher ground, the waters are fresher. and there you can get other things like really useful marsh plants that i will return to. there's a lot of variety. lots of variety. and it all produces stuff that can be used. this shows you the major shelffish areas. this, by the way, comes from the national parks service car tog rfers drawings that were made for the johnson and chesapeake voyages. and they said, too colorful. we lose prestige, and they published the book with really yucky colors. in my lectures, i still use the original maps, thank you very much. but this shows you where the fish are, where the oysters and
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clam s are. and by the way, the oysters and hard shell clams used to go up higher. seawater was lower, and intuitively we think the saltwater would therefore be lower up, coming up lower in the rivers. didn't work that way. the land had not yet been so much paved over and roofed over with houses. there was much less runoff from the rains that fell, and that pushed freshwater farther down the rivers. makes sense, but initially, it sounds counterintuitive. the sea level was lower, but the rivers were actually somewhat fresher than they are now. okay. this is one of the useful marsh plants that you can get. if you are a freshwater or a very, very, very slightly saltwater. this is the plant that john smith dubbed tucaho. probably the indian word which means roughly something to be pounded up, applied to several


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